Styrofoam, despite being terrible for the environment, is still used commonly for products ranging from coffee cups to packaging material.We’ve seen proposed alternatives surface over the years, some of them using mushroom mycelium as a biodegradable solution, and now a new option joins them: “nanowood.” This product is made using cellulose nanofibrils, the end result being a strong, lightweight, thermally insulating material.Unlike styrofoam, nanowood is biodegradable.Another advantage is its superior strength, which exceeds that of other thermal management materials like styrofoam, wool, and polymer aerogels.This strength is due to the use of cellulose nanofibrils that have been bonded in a way that produces high compressive strength.Nanowood is fabricated directly from wood, hence its name.
In his Spring Statement the UK Chancellor allocated £95 million for the first wave of its Local Full Fibre Network scheme.The scheme was announced six months ago but now 13 areas are all getting a share of half of the £190 million originally allocated to try to kick-start local investment in fibre infrastructure.The thinking behind this seems similar to the 5G cash that was served up yesterday – to catalyse and incentivise private investment in UK telecoms infrastructure and use-cases.While the sums involved in this sort of thing can seem like a drop in the ocean, it’s got to be better than nothing.There must surely be unanimity that boosting a country’s telecoms infrastructure must surely also boost its economic fortunes and anything that contributes to that should be celebrated.Having said that we mustn’t over-praise the UK government’s telecoms virtue-signalling while such small sums are involved.
It took up to 7 years to come in with such a model.This simply means there should be too many key features in this handset.Actually, the Mi 6 is not a cameraphone, but it is capable of providing SLR-like shooting performance due to the Sony IMX386 + Samsung S5K3M3 sensors.Anyway, the manufacturer improved the shooting algorithm and came in with the Mi Note 3.But we have heard Xiaomi will push out an OTA update to make the Mi 6 capture photos like (or even better than) the Mi Note 3.Today, on March 12, MIUI official team announced the Xiaomi Mi 6 camera software optimization is in progress and.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy deserves a special place in the geek pantheon.It's the story of hapless BBC radio editor Arthur Dent, his best friend Ford Prefect, and the adventures that result when Prefect saves Dent when the Earth is unexpectedly destroyed to make way for a galactic bypass.Written by the late, great Douglas Adams, HHGTTG first appeared as a radio series in the UK back in 1978.On Thursday—exactly 40 years to the day from that first broadcast—it made its return home with the start of Hexagonal Phase, a radio dramatization of the sixth and final book of an increasingly misnamed trilogy.From that initial six-part series came the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, then a re-recorded LP, a second novel (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe), a second radio series, a TV series, another two books (Life, the Universe, and Everything; So Long and Thanks for All the Fish), a computer game, a short story (Young Zaphod Plays it Safe), and then a fifth book (Mostly Harmless).And the ideas Adams wrote about were visionary: what else is your smartphone if not a real-life version of the Guide?
When Noah Isaacs and John Meadows were best friends growing up in Berkeley, Calif., they dreamed of remaining friends for life.It’s called Bowery Valuation, and it’s aiming to bring commercial real estate appraisals — currently an $8 billion market — into the modern era at long last.Investors certainly see the need for an upgrade.In fact, the real estate giant is now using the startup’s technology to automate and optimize the entire appraisal process, allowing its appraisers to provide multi-family valuation services (meaning for apartment complexes) for the first time.(“Reading the book Moneyball in high school, I thought it would be the coolest job in the world,” says Isaacs.“But it wasn’t all I’d dreamt it would be.”)
We’ve been testing the new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus for the past few days and one of its interesting features is “AR Emoji” which is Samsung’s take on Apple’s Animoji launched with the iPhone X.Samsung wants to go a step further and create emojis that look like you.It does this by capturing your face using the front camera and then taking you through a few steps to customize it to the way you actually look.We thought we’d test this out on a few members of the TechRadar team to see just how good the AR Emoji are with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.Do these AR emoji look anything like us?That’s definitely something we can argue about but the way we see it, AR Emoji is a feature that, like Apple's Animoji, is more of a party trick than one you’ll use on a daily basis.
When you’re the runaway leader in a growing industry you typically have two opinions: A) Stay in your lane and let other companies pop up to solve the industry’s problems.If there’s any doubt which option Coinbase is gunning for, that’s now gone.The digital currency giant just announced they’re expanding in yet another direction by launching a passively-managed cryptocurrency index fund.The fund will have a $10K minimum and charge a 2% annual management fee with no performance fee, which is rare for most traditional investment funds but luckily is becoming the norm for crypto-specific passive investment vehicles.It will include all digital currencies that trade on GDAX, weighted by market cap.This means at launch it will be comprised of 62% Bitcoin, 27% Ethereum, 7% Bitcoin Cash and 4% Litecoin.
Influencer marketing is getting a metric that promises to help brands and companies measure out the value of an influencer.A report from Celebrity Intelligence found that of the 270 marketing specialists it surveyed, 84 percent believe finding influencers that are a good fit for a brand is incredibly time consuming.When it comes to measuring ROI or the effectiveness of a campaign, 63 percent said it was a challenge and 60 percent still used press coverage as a means to measure success.Marketers can still see the follower count but that’s not the focus; what matters is how the data meshes together to determine who the top influencers are in categories like food or fashion.For example, in the month of February, supermodel Gigi Hadid was the top influencer in the fashion vertical, whereas acctress Tia Mowry was on top for family and parenting.Overall, the top performers for last month were: Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart on Instagram, singer Camila Cabello on Twitter and actor Ryan Reynolds on Facebook.
A report from Gizmodo says that Google is partnering with the United States Department of Defense and building drone software.The project will reportedly apply Google's usual machine learning prowess to identify objects in drone footage.Google's involvement in the project wasn't public, but it was apparently discussed internally at Google last week and leaked.The project is called "Project Maven," also known as the "Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT)."The project started in April of last year with a mission to “accelerate DoD’s integration of big data and machine learning.”A DoD press release on Project Maven says the project aims to help deal with the "millions of hours of video" the military collects.
HOUSTON - (March 5, 2018) - Lenses are no longer necessary for some microscopes, according to Rice University engineers developing FlatScope, a thin fluorescent microscope whose abilities promise to surpass those of old-school devices.A paper in Science Advances by Rice engineers Ashok Veeraraghavan, Jacob Robinson, Richard Baraniuk and their labs describes a wide-field microscope thinner than a credit card, small enough to sit on a fingertip and capable of micrometer resolution over a volume of several cubic millimeters.The technique allows scientists to probe and track biological agents with nanometer-scale resolution.It uses the same charge-coupled device (CCD) chips found in all electronic cameras to capture incoming light, but the comparisons stop there.This mask, which resembles a bar code, sits directly in front of the CCD.Light that comes through the mask and hits the sensor becomes data that a computer program interprets to produce images.
After beginning to offer meal kits from third party brands last fall, Walmart announced today that it’s now producing its own brand of pre-portioned kits priced between $8 to $15 designed to serve two people.The company says the recipes were developed at Walmart’s Culinary and Innovation Center which opened in June 2016, and all kits are made and packaged in individual stores daily.Unlike Walmart’s first meal kit offerings, its own line of kits will be available for purchase at 250 stores nationwide, with plans to roll out to more than 2,000 stores this year.Its meal kit recipes cover a range of cuisines, such as steak dijon, sweet chili chicken stir fry, and pork Florentine.In addition to the kits, Walmart will also offer ready-to-heat meals that skew heavily meat-based (sorry, vegetarians.)The new offering comes as Amazon began selling its own pre-portioned meal kits via AmazonFresh, and after the internet retailer bought Whole Foods to bolster its produce sales and delivery services.
Folks at AndroidHeadlines have received an exclusive tip about the existence of a sibling to the rumoured Desire 12, the HTC Desire 12 Plus.This tip comes with the full lineup of specs pertaining to the Desire 12 Plus.According to the tip, the Desire 12 Plus will measure 158.24 x 76.54 x 8.39mm and weigh 155.01g.It will sport a 5.99 inch TFT display with and 18:9 aspect ratio, 1440 x 720p resolution and a pixel density of 268ppi.The 12 Plus is code-named as “Breeze Plus” and will sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage which is expected to be expandable.The primary shooter will be a 13MP module with a back illuminated sensor for better low light photography.
Stockholm-based streaming giant Spotify finally made it official and filed documents for its much-rumored plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, pursuing the unusual option of a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO.Per the New York Times, that process is one “in which no new stock is issued—and therefore no money is raised,” and that will allow investors and insiders to freely trade shares on the market.In other words, it bypasses the traditional method by which Wall Street financial institutions would stage-manage the entire IPO process, which means Spotify shares could immediately experience volatility as the company sprints out the door.In his 1,259-word founder’s letter, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek was significantly more orthodox, in the sense that like every tech CEO, he is now touting a vision of their company becoming the cultural platform of the future or something.No, really, Spotify is now peak corporate Burning Man:We envision a cultural platform where professional creators can break free of their medium’s constraints and where everyone can enjoy an immersive artistic experience that enables us to empathise with each other and to feel part of a greater whole.
Light is back with a new twist on its anti-smartphone phone.But this time, instead of doing just one thing, the Light Phone 2 does a few, and exists somewhere between the original Light and your overwrought iPhone – though still far closer to the first-generation Light phone overall.The new design features a matte finish e-ink display, which occupies most fo the front face of the device and can show text, act as a virtual keyboard for sending messages, show your contacts and alarms and more.The phone uses Light’s own proprietary operating system, which is heavy on the text and limited on the total number of options and features, and you use physical keys on the side of the phone to navigate through menu options.The Light Phone 2 has 4G LTE connectivity and, since it’s not yet finalized but is instead kicking off its Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign, could add features including directions, ride-sharing specific apps, playlists, weather reports, and voice commands according to the company’s founders, on top of the basic call, messaging, contact book, alarm and auto-reply features that are definitely going in.Whether those other add-on features make the cut will depend in some part on backer feedback.
Along this line another robot snips with little surgical scissors, waiting for the platform to come to a brief rest before making a cut.And another snip, and rest.Not that you’ll turn into a robot—you may go under the knife of a machine working as a surgical assistant.A subtle challenge of operating on humans is that their lungs keep breathing and their hearts keep beating—that is, if the surgeon is doing their job right.But for this study, the researchers took the concept and shrunk it down to a 6-inch-wide device, opting for servo motors instead of pneumatic power.“We had this nice sinusoidal motion of this platform, something mimicking a heartbeat, and we expected him to follow the motion,” says UC Berkeley computer scientist Sanjay Krishnan.
2018 is 'the year of the graph' apparentlyDatabase upstart TigerGraph has launched its latest platform, pitching the ability for enterprise customers to collaborate in real time.The business was founded in 2012 but only came out of stealth in September.Having flown relatively under the radar recently – privately-funded Neo4J has had the market mostly to itself for more than a decade – graph databases are firmly planted in the mainstream these days.TigerGraph founder Yu Xu told The Register that 2018 would be "the year of the graph"."At the start, people were just happy to store data... then they started to think about simple analytics... then started talking about a method for simplified computation," Yu said.
FTC can smack down telcos – and eyes up $100m fine from AT for limited 'unlimited' planA US federal appeals court has prevented the country from falling into a telecoms black hole – by asserting that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does have the authority to fine phone giant AT for misleading subscribers.The telecoms giant was ultimately fined $100m.The phone company argued in front of a ninth circuit appeals court in 2016 that the FTC had no authority over it because it was legally designated as a "common carrier," and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), not the FTC, is the only regulator with jurisdiction over common carriers.In effect, with the court ruling that the FTC did not have the authority to punish the telco, and the FCC discarding its responsibilities over telcos, telecoms giants would have nobody to answer to when it came to how it treated people and their complaints.And so both the FTC and FCC desperately appealed to the ninth circuit to hold a full "en banc" review of the decision.
Film audiences who aren’t already claustrophobic might feel that way after watching The Chamber, a new thriller set almost entirely off the coast of North Korea in the cabin of an overturned submarine stuck at the bottom of the Yellow Sea.The plot — a looming conflict between the US and North Korea — is either poorly timed or extremely well-timed, given recent global events, but the real story is the classic moral quandary of how humans behave when trying to survive.Mats, a Swedish submarine ship captain for hire (played by Force Majeure star Johannes Bah Kuhnke), gets entangled in espionage when his boss orders him to pilot an American special ops team to an undisclosed location in a rickety Cold War-era submarine called the Aurora.Beautiful, isn’t she?” It becomes clear the she will go to any lengths to destroy the drone, even if they destroy the fragile submarine in the process.In an interview with The Verge, writer-director Ben Parker says the premise of the film was inspired partly by the terror of drone strikes.I would have posters of planes on my walls.” But with the advent of remotely piloted, weaponized drones, his admiration turned to fear.
A big part of the FCC’s mandate is to ensure broadband is rolled out all over the country, and it issues regular reports along those lines — but there’s nothing presenting information visually to get the point across.A new official map of broadband access based on FCC data lets you browse block by block and see just what options are on offer, from gigabit fiber to DSL that would have been inadequate a decade ago.The map is powered by Mapbox (which has its own blog post on the topic) and based on the forms (477, to be specific) submitted to the FCC by broadband providers.That means that this should probably be considered a bit of an optimistic view of what access is available where, and of course speeds achieved by subscribers may or may not be what is listed.An ISP might serve one or two buildings on a given block or all of them — info isn’t available at that level of granularity.Still, it’s much better than a census block level breakdown, which can show an area as served when entire communities within it aren’t.
The new Dell XPS 13, like the old model, is a fantastic laptop.And it still looks fantastic.The 13-inch laptop category remains incredibly competitive — but, once again, the XPS 13 has come out on top.The most expensive XPS 13 isn’t the best.The upgraded screen looks sharper, but colors don’t appear as vibrant, and images have less depth.It likely doesn’t help that the 4K model we reviewed had a more powerful, and more power-hungry, Core i7 processor.